Car Care Before and After Long Absence

My family are going abroad for 4-5 months, late-August to early-Jan. We have a 2006 Toyota Sienna and a 2002 Honda Civic. We live in Central Maine with only a one-car garage, so we’ll need to leave one vehicle out in the driveway for half of the winter. Please offer us some tips as to what we need to do with the cars before we leave and after we return so they’ll stay in good shape. Thank you!!

You can do a search here for lots more details but this is a relatively short duration. Fill the tank, top the fluids, change the oil, add Seafoam or Stabil to the gas tank, and pull the battery out or disconnect. Have a battery charger or new battery for when they return.

This is not a long time at all. You need do nothing at all to your car and it will be in good shape for your return. Battery disconnect or full removal is a good idea but you will likely need a jump start or battery charge whether you do so or not. There is no need to be concerned about the gasoline for this brief absence.

Oh, yeah. Some mothballs under the hood may discourage rodents looking for a good home.

Likely you could do nothing and have no problems with the most likely problem being a low battery.

However I do recommend removing both batteries and moving them some place away from the cars. Ideally the basement or laundry room would be good. It is better for the batteries and it makes it more difficult for someone to steal your cars.